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Let nothing stop the vaccine deliveries

In Colorado this week there have been several test runs of Covid vaccine delivery. Packages frozen like the Pfizer vaccine have been tracked and delivered from Denver to points in the mountains, each tracked by a GPS card that continually provides exact temperature and location.

All went as expected, but it must be noted it was not snowing in the mountains. When the snow does finally come, as it surely will, one wonders if everyday vehicles will be able to make those critical deliveries to mountain communities.

Hence the cartoon. Dogsleds may not be so old-fashioned after all. Balto and his canine friends successfully delivered diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska, back in 1925, so there is certainly precedent.

Mush, you huskies!!

7 Comments »

  1. Actually, that would be totally awesome if they ended up having to use dogs. Chances are they’d use snowmobiles before dogs, but still. Dog sleds have been know to have save people in the more remote northern parts of Alaska both by delivering food and medicine.

    “In 1925, the small Alaskan town of Nome was in the throes of a deadly diphtheria epidemic. To save the town’s inhabitants, 20 teams of sled dogs transported a vital anti-toxin over 674 miles (1,085km) of ice and snow, in just six days, through the most brutal winter conditions for decades.” http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20161014-in-1925-a-remote-town-was-saved-from-lethal-disease-by-dogs#:~:text=In%201925%2C%20the%20small%20Alaskan,brutal%20winter%20conditions%20for%20decades.

    Here is the Nat Geo story: https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/history-and-civilisation/2020/05/when-a-deadly-disease-gripped-an-alaskan-town-a-dog-saved-the-day

    Dogs are amazing. That’s why we have 12 dogs now and only 2 humans in the house (and 1 cat and 1 domestic goose that is missing his upper bill). One dog, the cat and the goose are all over 20 years old now. 20 YEARS OLD! Not too uncommon for a goose, but definitely for a cat and a dog.

    • Precisely why the cartoon and I mentioned Balto. He was the lead dog in that famous team that delivered the antitoxin to Nome. But yes, you’re right, no doubt it would be snowmobiles today. Too bad. Dog sleds would be much more colorful.

      12 dogs!? I had no idea you had that many. What breed is that oldest dog? I thought my Annie (lab/golden mix) was getting up in years at age 12. My son had a cat that lived 21 years.

      • Sorry – just went through my comment notifications. I keep forgetting to check them.

        We are now up to 14 dogs. Had to say goodbye to one a few weeks ago. She had started having seizures (a rescue – estimating 14-15 years old, Border Collie). We put her on steroid which stopped the seizures until the day I took her in to put her down. She had a seizure start in the morning and wouldn’t stop. When I took her in, her temp was up to 106. I knew she’d never come out of that so had to say good-bye. God, I hate it. I was a mess the rest of the day.

        We then “adopted” two Border Terriers whose mother has just gotten too old to care for them properly. “Mom” also has a couple Wolfhounds she’s hunting new homes for. Those are just too big for us. She’s a breeder (a legit breeder) which is why they came here as my housemate is a legit breeder – Portuguese Water Dogs have been her breed for a couple decades now. She’s done Labs, Greyhounds, and a few others through the years. But Porties are her thing now – which is why we have 6. Lyn (housemate) is undecided about breeding the BT’s though. I guess their bites are off so they’re not “showable.” But they’re good for pet-breeding – for people just wanting a good BT for a pet. Lyn doesn’t have the time or money to show them now anyway.

        The other two new ones are Porties. They’re not here for life, though. Just till spring. One is a male breeder (“CT” which is short for “Code Talker”) from her close friend, Tom, who is in Louisiana (also the owner/landlord of the house we live in – thus being able to have so many dogs here, and two horses, a cat, and goose). Tom just went thru knee surgery so knowing that in advance a few weeks ago, he and Lyn met halfway to get CT here so Lyn can use him to breed to Gelie Bean – one of Lyn’s female Porties who actually lives with me and my 3 dogs in my room. I live in the double-garage converted into a large studio so it’s my bedroom/office. And has enough room for 4 dogs.

        The other temp Porty here is “Lib” (I can’t remember his full registered name – it’s weird). To be honest, I’m not sure why he’s here. It’s short time. He’s a show dog and a breeder. Whatever the reason, he’s here until spring.

        So, total of 14 now. Assuming no other additions nor losses in the next few months, we’ll eventually go back to 12 in the spring.

        No, or dogs do not run the house nor yard all at the same time. All are crated except my 4, and Lyn’s personal small-dog, CJ, who is a 15-year old Border Terrier. CJ was a runt of a show litter so Lyn got her as pet-only. I have a baby gate up in the hallway so my four don’t have the run of the house, but they do of my garage/studio. All yard/exercise time is done in teams of compatibility.

        My 4 are two Porties (one is Gelie Bean, technically Lyn’s). When Geli came here, Lyn happened to be out on a 3-week trip to Cali so I kept Geli (8-weeks old) in with me and she buddied up with my Porty, Cassidy. So Geli has just stayed in here since then (over 2 years now). Cassidy is one of Lyn’s breedings. She was sold to a couple up in CO but caught Parvo right after going to her new home. She survived, obviously, but it affected her hips so she was having a hard time walking and standing for any amount of time. Her new owners wanted a dog they could take hiking so they sent her back and got a refund. And Lyn paid the Parvo costs (it’s just part of the contract). While Lyn was searching for a new home for Cassidy (she had a different name then) – which was just going to be a gift to someone since Cassidy was no longer able to be a breeder – I fell in love with her. Lyn had the grooming shop then so since I worked from home, I took care of all the dogs while Lyn was gone during the day. One day Lyn came home and said she think she found a new forever home for Cassidy and I said, “yeah, me. She’s not going anywhere.” I promised Cassidy – who I gave her new name at that point – “Hop-a-long Cassidy” because she couldn’t run properly due to the Parvo – she hops instead of runs – it’s so cute, and funny.

        My other two dogs are rescued Australian Shepherds. They both came from the dog rescue/training program Lyn had set up at the NM women’s prison several years ago. The state cut the funding for it a few years ago so that program is now gone. One of my Aussies is what’s called a “lethal white Aussie” (read more here: http://www.amazingaussies.org/Welcome/ ). Born deaf, blind in one eye and limited vision in the other. He showed up at the shelter with his mother when he was 5 or 6 months old. The shelter sent them over as a pair, to be trained and adopted together. They both came to me back in 2008. He mother was all white, but could hear and see. I trained her in agility and we ran agility trials together. We bonded like I’ve never bonded with a dog before. She died or natural causes in 2014. Her son is now going on 14 years this year. I trained him with touch commands. His seeing eye is pretty much gone now due to old age. A year after his mother died, I adopted another Aussie from the prison program to be his friend – and seeing eye dog. So Dork (yes, that’s his name) would follow Sydney (the new Aussie) when he could see.

        Well, I got to get back to work – and I hope that made sense. Dogs are a never-ending story in this house. Lyn is a breeder, but a professional one that will never, ever breed a bad trait in a dog. All sales go to quality homes – she general knows all the buyers or are referred to her from those she knows. It’s a tight network, but a good one.

        Oh, real quick….. we do have a 20+ year old Lhaso that was “abandoned.” His mom went in for surgery a few years ago but is elderly and ended up never going back home. She had to go into assisted living. She had boarded her 2 small dogs here when she went into the hospital, but they ended up staying. Both elderly. When she finally realized she was never getting them back, she said to have them put down (they were both around 18-20 yrs at this time). Well, that doesn’t happen here – no “putting down” for convenience. So they both stayed. One died a year or so ago, old age. And I’ll be damned the Lhaso is still hanging in there. I’m guessing 22-ish now (yes, years). Pretty blind. Mostly deaf. Teeth pretty much gone. But can still walk. Isn’t sick. Eats well. Sleeps very well. Hair half gone. Ugly as can be now. Puts out the best poops in the house – solid, and bigger than some of the Porties (which good quality is very important). So, until her quality of life is gone, she is here until she decides it’s time to go to the Rainbow Bridge. New name is “Timex” – takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

        • Wow, I had no idea when you said “dogs” you meant “DOGS” and dogs and dogs and more dogs. I do recall your talking about your lethal whites, but had no idea there were so many more. All that and a job, too? I’m in awe. I’ve always had a dog, as in one dog. And I thought I was dog crazy. What you’re doing is wonderful. I couldn’t afford to feed that many.

          “22-ish.”? I’ve heard of cats that old, but never a dog. Have to chalk it up to all your TLC. The world needs more people like you.

Now that I've had my say ...

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